Monday, 1 April 2013



Torture 40 

The meeting place for the ride is the Mill End car park, nr Henley. We are planning on meeting at 10:30am starting at 11:00am, which will mean leaving Folkestone at 8:00am. If you need further details contact myself.

Please note that the car park normally has a height restriction bar across the entrance so take care if your pride and joy is on the roof! There are some public loos there.

Home of Red Kite, the Chiltern Hills north of Reading and Henley-on-Thames are a picturesque and inviting venue for a pleasant jaunt through sweeping country lanes, with rolling green fields accompanied by the gentle trickle of streams wending their way towards the Thames. Such is the allure of the Hambleden Valley that its landmarks are already, subconsciously, a feature of the middle-English living room: the Windmill from Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, and the church in Turville, fictional home of the Vicar of Dibley.

Too bad, then, that your visit to this beautiful corner of England will be marred by ten of the most savage climbs in the South-East. No rolling vistas for you, just a fog of pain and sweat as your field of vision narrows to the wall of tarmac before you, your gaze only raised to track the disappearing figure of your adversary ahead. You battle valiantly to rejoin the group that dropped you on the last climb, in the mistaken belief that you can take some shelter and recover, only for the road to kick up again. A few twisting turns then it’s back down to the valley floor again for another leg-searing climb.

Welcome, friends, to the Torture 40! If this is your idea of a fun Sunday morning ride, you’re in for a treat. If not, come along anyway, but don’t be shy with the granny gears (or bring some thick socks to walk in)!

Strava KOM supremos will be looking at around 2h 30 to complete the circuit, lesser mortals will be deliriously happy with getting under 3 hours. For the truly exhausted and/or mechanically challenged, there are a few shortcuts highlighted in green which shorten the agony in the ride of woe back to base. “The Frog” in Skirmett village would seem an ideal place to refuel after the event.